United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT OF INVALIDITY RE: DKT. NO. 65
NATHANAEL M. COUSINS United States Magistrate Judge.
TPF Toys Limited moves for summary judgment of this patent
dispute in which plaintiff D Now, Inc. alleges TPF infringed
a patent for a bubble blower tube. TPF cites clear and
convincing evidence that the claimed invention was obvious in
light of the prior art, so the patent is invalid. The Court
GRANTS TPF's motion for summary judgment.
holds the exclusive license to U.S. Patent No. 8, 795, 020
for a “bubble blower tube.” ‘020 Patent, at
 (filed Jan. 8, 2013); Dkt. No. 1 at 3. The tube is a
component of D Now's Uncle Bubble Ultra Bouncing Bubble
toy set. Dkt. No. 1 at 4. D Now sued TPF, claiming the bubble
blower tube in TPF's Paddle Bubble toy set infringes the
‘020 Patent. Dkt. No. 1. TPF moved for summary
judgment, challenging the ‘020 Patent's validity on
the basis the invention was obvious. Dkt. No. 65;
See 35 U.S.C. § 103. This Court has federal
question jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331
and 1338(a). Both parties have consented to the jurisdiction
of a magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1).
Dkt. Nos. 9, 17.
The ‘020 Patent
‘020 Patent comprises four principal limitations: (1) a
tube structure, including the bubble fluid reservoir; (2) a
check valve inside the tube separating the bubble blowing end
from the bubble forming end; (3) a grooved bubble fluid
retaining ring at the end of the bubble forming tube with the
grooves extending vertically around the inner circumference
of the tube; and (4) an annular stop flange encircling the
tube at the bubble forming end. ‘020 Patent; Dkt.
No.1-1 at 2-10. See the illustrations below.
Omitted.)‘020 Patent figs.1, 3 (numbers corresponding
to embodiment have been removed).
‘020 Patent purports to address several problems with
previous bubble blower tubes. The invention attempts to: (1)
prevent bubble fluid or (2) air from flowing back through the
tube; (3) hold sufficient bubble fluid so as not to limit the
quality of the bubbles; and (4) prevent bubble fluid from
dripping down the outside of the tube onto the user.
‘020 Patent. In particular, the ‘020 Patent's
main objective is “to provide a bubble blower tube,
which prevents reverse flowing of air or bubble fluid.”
Id. col.1 l.42-44.
four limitations address these concerns: (1) “The
bubble fluid that flows downwardly along the inner perimeter
of the bubble-forming end will be accumulated in the fluid
storage chamber and prohibited from entering the outlet and
mouthpiece of the blower tube.” Id. col.3
l.16-19. (2) The check valve prohibits the “flowing of
air or bubble fluid from the outlet toward the
mouthpiece.” Id. col.1 l.46-49. (3) The outer
and inner grooved bubble fluid retaining part “enhances
the bubble fluid retaining ability and storage capacity of
the bubble blower tube, increasing the rate and volume of
bubble formation.” Id. col.1 l.56-60. (4)
“The bubble fluid that flows downwardly along the outer
perimeter of the bubble-forming end will be stopped at the
annular stop flange.” Id. col.3 l.11-15.
judgment is proper where “the movant shows there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). A genuine dispute of material fact exists where the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could find for the
non-movant. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986). When reviewing the evidence, this Court
must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co.,
398 U.S. 144, 156 (1970).
attacking a patent's validity has the burden of proving
invalidity by clear and convincing evidence. Microsoft
Corp. v. i4i Ltd. P'ship, 564 U.S. 91, 97 (2011). A
patent is invalid if “the differences between the
claimed invention and the prior art are such that the claimed
invention as a whole would have been obvious . . . to a
person having ordinary skill in the art.” 35 U.S.C.